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I wanted to repeat the 'Pluto discovery' images I took a year or two back, now with the advantage of 'Platesolve & resync' in Sharpcap 4 and without failed attempts.

It was not as straightforward as I hoped. The preferred mount proved not tall enough to get Pluto in field above a fence and nearby building, so I had to use the SLT mount on its wooden tripod.  So I got some images and found on processing them that Pluto was out of field. Pluto is of course totally invisible visually with most amateur telescopes so I was aiming blind. "TheSkyLive" has a good finder chart but uses the J2000 co-ordinates.

Eventually figured that I had to enter the Jnow RA & Dec (from Stellarium, etc) into the GoTo, and not use 'Pluto' (J2000 co-ordinates), as there is enough difference between the two to put Pluto out of field on a small-chip camera.  As it eventually proved, using the Jnow position and a 1-star align on Altair (without the plate-solve & re-sync) was enough to get Pluto on the camera chip.

Here is the last image taken, on 21 Aug 2022, at about 22:20 UT, with a 102mm f5 achro and ASI224MC camera, stacked exposure 10x20 secs.

Image processed in GIMP, and Pluto located by plate-solving the saved image with Platesolve2

I have an earlier image where Pluto is just about detectable in a different position.



Edited by Cosmic Geoff
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Nicely done!

Pluto is a tough cookie with its low UK elevation. I grabbed my second capture of it a couple of weeks ago and actually stacked 50 x 30 sec exposures through my 10in Newt. 

Was a lousy image due to gradients and Moon light etc. Still got a warm glow though! 

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